FOXBORO, Mass. — Once again the AFC’s road to the Super Bowl will run through Gillette Stadium.
The New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets 26-6 on Sunday to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a record of 13-3.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who also finished with a 13-3 record, grabbed the No. 2 seed by virtue of losing the tiebreaker to the Patriots due to their Week 15 loss at Heinz Field.
This is the third season in the last four that the Patriots have clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. New England went on to win the Super Bowl each of the last two times it was the top seed. The Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos in the 2015 AFC Championship Game when they were unable to get the No. 1 seed after losing to the Miami Dolphins 20-10 in Week 17.
The Patriots last lost a playoff game at home during the 2013 playoffs when the Baltimore Ravens defeated them 28-13 in the AFC Championship Game. New England was the No. 2 seed in those playoffs. Its last home playoff loss as the No. 1 seed came in the 2011 playoffs to the Mark Sanchez-led Jets.
The Patriots will have a bye week before playing the lowest remaining seed in the AFC divisional round on either Jan. 13 or Jan. 14.